475 25th Street, Oakland CA 94612 \ 510-701-4620

Friday + Saturday: 12-5pm and by appt.


Jody Medich, Jill McLennan: Histoire Noir

January 2013

Images from left: Jody Medich "Grandma" (2012) pencil on paper 30"x36"; Jill McLennan "Estuary Sail" (2012) pencil on paper 30"x40". Photos by the artists.



Exhibition dates: January 17 – February 23 2013
Artists’ Talk & Reception: Saturday February 2nd from 4-6pm (talk begins at 5pm)
Oakland Art Murmur First Friday: February 1st from 6-9pm

Two artists share with us topics that have haunted them for many years both working in minimal palettes of pencil charcoal and marker.

Jody Medich‘s series of pencil and charcoal drawings come from a long-held very intrapersonal place where reality and media images merge. Of her family she says “We come from an area right on the border between Austria and Hungary…and survived two world wars in limbo between two evils: the Nazis and the Communists. As a young child [my family] wanted me to know how to survive in the face of hell. They tried to save me by telling me stories.”

Grandmother aunts uncles and parents told of traumatic experiences: taking beatings to protect Jews and Christians hidden in the cellar; where to hide when soldiers came to the door and to never peek out no matter what; and showing scars from concentration camps and the Gulag for resisting ideology of the oppressor. Telling these stories to a child the adults left out details but the artist’s active imagination filled in the terrifying blanks envisioning the stories through the imagery of old war and Noir movies her father liked which she describes as “…disturbing and sinister made all the more terrifying because of what they do not show.”

Jody Medich was born in South Bend IN grew up in Detroit MI and has lived in the Bay Area since 2001. She received an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 2008. Medich has exhibited throughout the Bay Area is a member of the art group Five Ton Crane and the co-founder and creative director of the design firm Kicker Studio.

Oakland is portrayed as a city in constant flux in much of Jill McLennan‘s art throughout her career. This show includes drawings of construction sites depicting our constant need to improve on our surroundings while overlooking the environmental impact. McLennan creates a visual record of the urban environment in constant transition both socially and politically. The works become a historic document of a place that is being destroyed and recreated by redevelopment.

McLennan has been working as an artist and an educator in the Bay Area for 12 years. In 2012 she launched a small business JMAC (Jill McLennan Arts and Community) bringing art into our cities through community murals and educating the youth through private and small group art lessons. She strives to incorporate creativity and awareness into all aspects of daily life through painting and teaching.

Mercury 20 Gallery

475 25th Street, Oakland CA 94612
Tel: 510-701-4620

Gallery hours: Friday + Saturday: 12-5pm and by appt